Newcastle/Sydney Eight Habitats
We start the day early with a short drive to an area of coastal rainforest which is home to numerous bird species. The area consists of temperate coastal rainforest, open woodlands and coastal heath. A short walk gives us great views of the rainforest canopy in the valley below. Birds include Grey and Rufous Fantail, Eastern Rosella, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Pied Currawong, Superb Blue-wren, Yellow-faced, Lewin’s, Scarlet Honeyeater, Grey and Pied Butcherbird, Olive-backed Oriole, Willie Wagtail, Eastern Yellow Robin, Eastern Spinebill, Bell Miner, Little Wattlebird, Laughing Kookaburra, Brown Gerygone, Striated Pardalote, White-headed Pigeon and if we’re lucky, the beautiful Regent Bowerbird or Pacific Baza.
From here we drive to Ash Island, which is a significant habitat for migratory waders and shorebirds consisting of areas of mangroves, saltmarsh, dry-littoral rainforest and areas of inter-tidal forested woodlands. This island is home to over 200 species of birds and thousands of migratory waders in the summer months (October-April).
Birds we are likely to see include Brown Quail, Australian Pelican, White-faced Heron, Australian-white and Straw-necked Ibis, Black-shouldered Kite, Brown Goshawk, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Australian Kestel, Black-winged Stilt, Welcome Swallow, Masked Lapwing, Silver Gull, Sacred Kingfisher, Mangrove Gerygone, Brown & Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Magpie Lark, Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike, Australian Raven, Australian Pipit, White-faced Chat, Tree & Fairy Martin, Black-fronted Dotterel, Australian Reed-Warbler, Little Grassbird, Golden-headed Cisticola and Eastern Curlew.
In the summer months we can add to this list, Black-tailed & Bar-tailed Godwit, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Terek Sandpiper, Grey-tailed Tattler, Great & Red Knot, Red-necked Stint, Sharp-tailed & Curlew Sandpiper, Red-capped Plover, Red-necked Avocet and Pacific Golden Plover.
From here we travel to two areas of paperbark swamp, reed beds, dry sclerophyll forest and wetlands. Over 170 species have been observed in these areas and we should see Magpie Geese, Wandering Whistling Duck, Australian Wood Duck, Grey & Chestnut Teal, Australian Grebe, Black, Pied & Little Pied Cormorant, Little, Cattle, Intermediate & Great Egret, Rufous Night Heron, Swamp Harrier, Australian Spotted Crake, Purple Swamphen, Azure Kingfisher, Glossy Ibis, Royal & Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Dusky Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Noisy Friarbird, Australian Magpie, Noisy Miner, Yellow-faced & White-cheeked Honeyeater, White-breasted Woodswallow, Red-browed Firetail & Silvereye as well as Japanese/Lathams Snipe in summer.
On the final leg of this tour we climb up into the mountains. It is here we experience dense woodlands & rainforest gullies. With the calls of Bell Miners and Eastern Whipbirds all around us we explore the rainforest & look for species such as Golden Whistler, Rufous & Grey Fantail, Logrunner, Bassian Thrush, Green Catbird, Wonga Pigeon and Pied Currawong as well as the world’s largest passerine – the Superb Lyrebird.
Costs and Pricing
Tour Price : $300pp AUD (including GST)
What you will see
Private/Custom Tour Itinerary
This is a speciality trip searching for some of the regions rare, special and unique birds. The birds we will look for include one of the rarest and localised birds in the world, the Rufous Scrub-bird. The Rufous Scrub-bird is one of only 2 species in this family, it often skulks around the rainforest undergrowth and is difficult to see. However, our area is the best place to see these elusive birds and the other Noisy Scrub-bird is even harder and more restricted!! Given the right place at the right time we have a reasonable chance of seeing one.
We will also concentrate on looking for some of the other highly specialised and difficult to see birds of Australia that occur in this region. These birds include the Paradise Riflebird (the southernmost Bird of Paradise in the world), Superb Lyrebird (the world’s largest passerine) and the shy but stunning Noisy Pitta. Other specialities include Bassian Thrush, which is an endemic Zoothera Thrush a much sought after genera, the stunning Spectacled Monarch & Rose Robin.
It is essential for this trip that we are at the site for first light, this is when all of the specialities are at their most active.
In a 1 day trip we will concentrate on the Scrub-bird and the Riflebird and hope to see the other specialities while we are searching for them. The area we will go to is 1.5-2 hours drive and the trip includes a very early start. It is an area of pristine montane rainforest and wet sclerophyll woodland. We will get to the Scrub-bird site for dawn and spend the first few hours searching. While it is still early we will also spend some time looking for the Riflebird in particular. We will then spend the rest of the morning searching for the other diurnal specialities in good areas of rainforest.
Other species that we could come across during our seaching include: Australian Brush-Turkey, Emerald & Brown Cuckoo Dove, Topknot & Wonga Pigeon, Pacific Baza, Black-shouldered Kite, Grey Goshawk, Australian Kestrel & Hobby, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Australian King Parrot, Red-rumped Parrot, Brush, Fan-tailed & Shining Cuckoo, Australian Koel, Channel-billed Cuckoo, Southern Boobook, Tawny Frogmouth, Australian Owlet Nightjar, White-throated Needletail, fairy-wrens, treecreepers, pardalottes, scrubwrens, White-throated Gerygone, thornbills, many species of honeyeater, Flame and Eastern Yellow Robins, Eastern Whipbird, Varied Sitella, Crested Shrike Tit, whistlers, Leaden Flycatcher, fantails, cuckoo-shrikes & trillers, butcherbirds & corvids, Green Catbird, Satin Bowerbird.
Because these birds are so difficult and there are lots of other species, a 2 day tour is highly recommended. This will give us 2 dawn starts and I full evening, increasing our likelihood of success.
Costs and Pricing
Tour Prices : 1 Day $400pp AUD
2 Day $750pp AUD
What you will see
Night Tour Itinerary
We will spend most of the night spotlighting in known areas for some of the most elusive night birds in Australia including Sooty, Masked and Powerful Owls, Southern Boobook, Tawny Frogmouth, Australian Owlet Nightjar & White-throated Nightjar.
This is also a great opportunity to see some of the strange & wonderful mammals of Australia.
Costs and Pricing
Price on enquiry.